Yakimono, Chris Lucas’s Japanese grill, sets opening date, opens bookings

At Yakimono, everything is cooked over fire, from octopus skewers to whole chickens.
At Yakimono, everything is cooked over fire, from octopus skewers to whole chickens. Photo: Adrian Lander

While all of us were focused on Society, Chris Lucas and his team have been hard at work on two other restaurants, Yakimono and Lillian Terrace, which will make their debut at 80 Collins Street on November 5. And bookings for all three venues open today.

Yakimono, led by chef Daniel Wilson, who co-founded Huxtable and Huxtaburger, brings the best parts of Japanese street-food and cooking over fire to an edgy space bathed in colourful lights. The Lucas team point to Tokyo's buzzy Shinjuku district and izakayas as influences, along with the film Blade Runner 2049.

The grill that dominates the large open kitchen will pump out skewers of all kinds, including octopus with chilli crisp, while the rest of the menu spans noodles, rice dishes and items to share, like a whole miso-glazed chicken. Wilson will also be smoking eel, chicken fat and more to add layers of flavour to dishes.

Lillian Terrace, while on the same level of the building as Society, sits somewhere between that and Yakimono in terms of style, offering a day-to-night menu of European-inspired classics in a room of warm, earthy tones for 100 people. Diners can expect crumbed King George whiting with cauliflower gribiche and sauce Americaine or smoked and slow-roasted Margra lamb shoulder with dijon mustard.

On November 5, fine-diner Society will also reopen after its extremely brief first showing in early August, albeit with a new chef leading the kitchen following the departure of former Sepia chef Martin Benn, announced in September. 

Luke Headon has stepped up as executive chef, after training under Benn throughout the restaurant's opening, and will continue to offer the same menu. Headon has previously worked at The Fat Duck in the UK and Ezard at Levantine Hill in Victoria. Meanwhile, Thomas Woods remains as head chef of Lillian Terrace. His CV includes Prahran fine-diner Woodland House.

Yakimono's interiors feature coloured light, digital artwork and an atmosphere similar to a Tokyo izakaya.
Yakimono's interiors feature coloured light, digital artwork and an atmosphere similar to a Tokyo izakaya. Photo: Supplied

Along with all three restaurants, the private dining rooms of Society are also taking bookings today for November 5 onwards.

Lillian Terrace, Society, Yakimono, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne. yakimono.com.au, societyrestaurant.com